What is there to know about Azaleas

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on 23 February 2021, 20:01

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1. They are a very popular shrub in landscaping, with over 1,000 varieties.

They come in all shapes and sizes, with colours varying from red, pink, orange, yellow, white and purple. They produce fragrant masses of flowers in late winter to early summer.  

2. Planting conditions 

These plants do best in partial sunlight and shade. Full sun can burn the leaves. We recommend planting them by a tree, such as a conifer.  Due to their short roots, they do best in well-drained, acidic soil. Amend the soil with compost to improve growth. 

3. Can be grown in containers. 

Choose a container with drainage holes to prevent the roots to rot. Pay attention to the size of the container. It should provide ample growing space for the roots. Use mulch to keep soil moist. Place the container in partial or dappled sunlight. 

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4. They can be evergreen or deciduous.  

The Evergreen azaleas provide year-round interest and are more popular in residential areas, keeping some of their foliage through winter. On the other hand, deciduous azalea varieties drop leaves during autumn, and work nicely as foundation plantings. 

5. To keep their roots cool and moist, mulch twice a year.  

Mulching helps to conserve water, maintain soil temperature, and avoid weeds. Use pine straw or composted pine barks and replenish twice a year.

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6. Once flowering is over, prune to allow new growth.

After the flowering season, cut off dead branches and stems from the shrub. They will grow new branches from the cut. 

7. Plant combination 

They can be planted as a sole specimen, looking most attractive in a garden. Otherwise, when mass planted, they work well in larger areas, such as wooded areas. Avoid mixing the evergreen and deciduous varieties. Combine them with hostas, ferns, and rhododendrons. 

8. Azaleas are poisonous if consumed. Watch out for kids and pets. 

All varieties and all parts of azaleas are poisonous. The toxin grayanotoxins, if ingested, can cause health distress in humans and animals. 

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